Regenerative injection therapy is a new cutting edge treatment for orthopedic pain management and requires the expertise of a regenerative medicine expert when selecting your doctor. Regenerative medicine focused doctors were extremely rare 15 years ago but now can be commonly found in most populous cities in the United States.
Wow, regenerative medicine has really arrived over the past couple of years! This is wonderful news and has the potential to save thousands upon thousands of patients from surgery and joint replacements. It also can drastically reduce medical bills and save billions of dollars in Medicare expenses each year in America. These are profound benefits with the potential to shake up healthcare in a much needed way. So what’s the drawback? In order for great new treatment to become incorporated into mainstream medicine, we need skilled and highly trained practitioners advancing it forward. Otherwise, this great therapy can be discredited and endure costly setbacks.
What to Look For when Selecting Your Regenerative Medicine Doctor
It is critically important to select the right physician when deciding upon regenerative injection treatments. The wrong practitioner can potentially injure the patient, worsen the condition, or simply waste your hard earned money. When selecting your doctor, you must do your homework ahead of time. First, is the practitioner even a physician or are they a PA or a nurse Second, what is their medical training and expertise. Third, how long have they been doing regenerative injections and how many total treatments have they completed. Fourth, are they giving you honest clinical outcomes or are they claiming to provide miracles. Fifth, are they up to date on the latest clinical trials. Sixth, are they ordering or reviewing imaging (MRI) before treating patients. Seventh, what type of cells are they using and are they being honest about them to you. Eight, are they completing a detailed physical examination in office and recreating the reported pain. Ninth, are they using imaging to guide the injections to the targeted treatment sites.
Importance of Specialty Training
The training of the regenerative medicine doctor you select is an extremely important aspect of their qualifications and whether to move forward with them or not. Since the treatment is relatively new, almost all medical schools are not teaching it as part of their core curriculum. This means that the training is received postgraduate on the doctors own time and interest. There are many regenerative medicine conferences and seminars out there, some much better than others. Generally, if the seminar does not provide lots of hands on training and extensive curriculum, be cautious. Examples of such high quality organizations:
- The American Osteopathic Association of Prolotherapy Regenerative Medicine
- Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute
- Boston Biolife
- Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation
- The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine
The physician should also have a background in pain management and/or orthopedics or at least many years of experience treating pain cases. Most credible training organizations or doctors will not let their students treat a patient without hundreds of hours of study and thousands of practice injections.
One of the main reasons I decided to create this particular blog was to tell my own personal story of encountering dangerous “stem cell” practitioner. I was attending a local networking group a few months ago where I was introduced to a guest visitor. The guest was a physician’s assistant (PA) who was hired by a chiropractic office to provide “stem cell” injections in Tempe, AZ. I was intrigued by this revelation but did not initially disclose that I was a licensed physician who has studied regenerative medicine and has been treated with PRP and adipose derived tissue before. I have also referred many patients to autologous stem cell providers for cases beyond the therapeutic benefits of PRP injections. I inquired about his training to find out that he was a PA who just graduated a month ago. He was hired by a chiropractor to add additional therapies for higher reimbursements into the chiropractors clinic. I then asked if he was trained in injections or had any background with regenerative injections. He then revealed he had only studied some research papers on the subject and had never done an injection much less a orthopedic “stem cell” injection. Wow, I was stunned and honestly scared for his potential patients. This PA had zero training and zero experience, yet he was being marketed as a “stem cell” expert by a local chiropractic clinic. What’s even scarier is that he is not the only one. Many chiropractors have now hired PA’s so they can make more revenue in health insurance reimbursements and out of pocket money. This is exactly why patients must do their homework before selecting a doctor. I personally would not advise getting any injection done by a PA or nurse or even a MD, DO or NMD who has not been properly trained with lots of clinical experience.
Regenerative medicine has burst onto the scene and ignited public interest. The therapy offers great potential and could revolutionize orthopedic medicine as we know it. For this to happen we must advocate for only a highly trained physicians to perform such treatments. Physicians, nurses, and PA’s with no injection or regenerative training are simply not qualified to do the procedure. This is the reason we are extremely selective when referring a patient to a stem cell provider. Luckily, there’s a few talented and skilled physicians in the east valley that we trust and have referred many of our chronic pain patients to for additional help.
Stop Suffering and Live the Pain Free Life YOU intended Today!
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are for educational purposes only. If you are interested in autologous stem cell therapy, we will happily connect you to local and trusted providers as we do not provide that service but are strong proponents of its potential.